CuiousPages - fiction and nonfiction
CuriousPages - fiction and nonfiction
Each weekday morning, Samuel Pam walked to Notting Hill Gate underground station, rode the tube to Westminster then walked a further twelve minutes to his office. He avoided people in public, so when he stepped onto the train and noticed an empty end-seat, he sat there. These were favourable because only one person could sit beside you, reducing the possibility of conversation.
A man in his twenties took the seat beside Samuel, who gave him the once-over and decided he seemed harmless enough. The train pulled away and Samuel took out his paperback. The standing-room was taken and he was aware of bodies in front of him swaying like the walls of a human maze which confined him, unable to escape until the walls themselves disembarked. The man beside him leant closer and whispered:
“Do you satisfy your girlfriend in bed?”
Samuel watched his book and turned to the next page.
The man whispered, “Leave the small size behind. No girl likes a small…”
Samuel looked along the carriage in the opposite direction, and through the maze he saw the mad Spanish-looking woman making her way towards him.
The man beside him whispered: “Bring her to new heights of ecstasy with just one more inch.”
The maze swayed before him and Samuel felt as though immobilized in a nightmare.
The Spanish-looking woman had pursued him since he left his flat that morning. He was late and was about to leave but felt hungry. He placed two slices of bread in his toaster and as he pushed down the “start” lever, his doorbell sounded. He rushed to the door and saw a courier standing there who said, “I have a large package for you,” raising his eyebrows on the word “large”.
Samuel looked down at the package and told him, “It doesn’t look all that large to me.”
The man handed him a form and Samuel was about to sign it when he noticed the declaration he was signing: “Yes, I want to say goodbye to my locker-room embarrassment.” He looked up at the man who turned over the package and pointed to the wording on the reverse:
This patented work-out for your “best friend” will put inches where it really matters.
The courier said, “Just sign here,” and pushed Samuel’s hand down onto the form.
Samuel resisted, shouting, “There’s nothing wrong with my… ‘best friend’!” but the man held his hand and tried moving it over the form. Samuel broke free, pulled his front door shut and pushed past the man on his way into the street. He carried his hunger and irritation to the end of the street and as he turned the corner, he noticed the Spanish-looking woman rushing after him. She lived somewhere nearby and always seemed to be pestering people in the street. She shouted to him, “You plunge it in and leave in a hurry.”
Primrose Jones was the chairperson of The Perception Residents’ Committee. She sat in her flat at 9B Festering Resentment Passage, waiting for Francis Meeke (the committee’s secretary) and Thomas Smithe to pick her up on their way to the MP’s house.
The most noticeable feature of Primrose’s home was her coffee table, which was piled high with back issues of her favourite magazine: The Vindictive Person’s Weekly Magazine of Hints and Tips on How Best to Get Your Own Back on Absolutely Anybody.
She sat on her sofa before the coffee table, holding the committee’s completed petition. She vindictively scrutinized its thickness and contemplated the joyous prospect of getting the constabulary back for their incompetence.
She recalled her one and only encounter with a police officer. He stopped her car, leant in her window and said, “Never mind the driving licence, madam, just lift your skirt for a moment while I try my truncheon out… Oh yes, no problem there; it’s a perfect fit. Right, on you go, madam!” Then he stood back and waved her on.
She thought this procedure odd at the time, specially that curious smirk he wore as he waved her on, but after a moment’s consideration she simply shrugged the incident off (—They are professionals, after all; they must know what they’re doing). But this experience, combined with all the other stories she heard while compiling the petition over the past two weeks—stories of the police rolling up their trouser legs and dancing in village duck ponds while singing. “Where, oh where have all the criminals gone,” and stories of them reversing road signs at crossroads and laughing at the frustration and worry scurrying about the faces of the misdirected motorists, chasing this way and that but unable to find their destination—all this left Primrose Jones in considerable doubt about their ability to apprehend the mass murderer. And on top of all this, when she read that day’s news, her malice towards the police become so great she found herself spraying the newspaper with (what, to the casual observer, might have looked like) an involuntary squirt of venom.
This latest news was leaked to The Perception Daily Chronicle that morning by a uniformed constable, one P.C. William Grass, who was working in Bright Spark House, the constabulary’s headquarters. He took a telephone message from an anonymous witness who gave a description of the murderer, and he placed the message in the in‑tray of a certain Detective Sergeant Humbug (whom we shall have the pleasure of being fully informed about later).

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